Cubs closer Ryan Dempster loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before throwing a wild pitch to give the Pirates a 6-5 lead and Freddy Bynum struck out with runners on to end the game as the Cubs secured their hold on last place in the N.L. Central.
A few innings earlier the Lemont Little League team served as guest conductors for the seventh inning stretch, but coach Donald Rainey forced the kids to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with their backs to the playing field.
“I just don’t want them to learn from the Chicago Cubs,” said Rainey. “These kids have great instincts and fundamentals. In fact, no one on my team has had a pop up bounce off of their head all season long.”
If the kids had watched, they would have seen Jacque Jones horribly misjudge a hit by Jose Bautista, Juan Pierre get caught trying to steal third with one out, and Aramis Ramirez get ejected for throwing a hissy-fit.
Lemont’s coach admitted he had other reasons for not letting his team watch the game.
“Why would I want them to learn by watching Juan Mateo?” said Rainey, referencing the Cubs’ starting pitcher. “I told my kids to turn on the Dodger game to see if Greg Maddux was pitching.”
Number of the day: 32
Fans sitting in the centerfield bleachers for the game, although 14 of them were Cubs-sanctioned scalpers with nothing better to do.